Presence: A Bagua Path to Fulfillment

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Presence: A Bagua Path to Fulfillment



by Keith M. Cowley (© 2010 Wild Animal Publishing)

ISBN: 978-0-9769555-8-0

Based upon the traditional art of Bagua (a Chinese internal philosophy), Cowley explores the foundational training of a sacred martial practice. Putting himself in the shoes of the founder of the art itself, developed over 200 years ago, Cowley journeyed inward to discover within himself what may actually have been taught on the mountain, and what Baguazhang was before it was combined with other family styles of combative kung fu. Presented as a mind/body practice, the reader can easily identify with the simplicity of the philosophies and drills. No prior knowledge of Tai Chi, Baguazhang or Qigong is required to experience the author's personal message.

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Note from the Author

Presence: A Bagua Path to Fulfillment is a retrospective on the beginnings of this path for me, as a teacher and a student. Being introduced to the concepts of Baguazhang changed my life. While I did not pursue a martial lineage path, I did adopt a strong and (often obsessively) consistent practice that exposed these principles to me. I came to discover that the foundational training of internal arts are built into our primal beings and revealed through intent-driven life experiences. The purpose of this book was to initially expose the truth that, ultimately, "body" is teacher.

There are many lineages of martial arts, some legendary, some mysterious, some lost. Why do we choose the paths we do? Do we seek to be connected to historical perspective, to martial celebrities and their fantastical accomplishments/super-human feats? How does this pursuit of the extreme benefit our daily lives and the lives around us? This book was written to introduce a stripped-down, non-fancy, non-martial approach to a life practice that does not inflate ego or build a combat-proof body. And these concepts are only the surface of what I have gleaned from my continued training. Embodiment is about application, self-testing and environmental balance. This book, this Personal Circle practice, is for those seeking to embody purpose and truth about their role, in their bodies, in their community and environment.

For those only viewing this text as a manifesto on Bagua or Baguazhang, then please read deeper. It is not. Nor have I claimed it to be. "Presence" is about questioning your lineage. Questioning your teacher. Questioning your purpose, what is real. No more mysteries. Explore the drills. Seek further into Personal Circle philosophy. I only share what I have come to know and continue to refine. Thank you for those who have supported this project and training. Much more to come.

Peace, Presence,

Keith M. Cowley